strang·​er | \ ˈstrān-jər How to pronounce stranger (audio) \

Definition of stranger

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : one who is strange: such as
a(1) : foreigner
(2) : a resident alien
b : one in the house of another as a guest, visitor, or intruder
c : a person or thing that is unknown or with whom one is unacquainted
d : one who does not belong to or is kept from the activities of a group
e : one not privy or party to an act, contract, or title : one that interferes without right
2 : one ignorant of or unacquainted with someone or something



Definition of stranger (Entry 2 of 3)

: of, relating to, or being a stranger : foreign


strangered; strangering; strangers

Definition of stranger (Entry 3 of 3)

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Synonyms & Antonyms for stranger

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of stranger in a Sentence

Noun Children are taught not to talk to strangers. He is a complete stranger to me. “Excuse me. Do you know where the library is?” “I'm sorry. I'm a stranger here myself.” I'm a stranger to the area.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Pelosi is no stranger to shattering glass ceilings — in 2007, then-President George W. Bush applauded her as the first female speaker of the House. Elizabeth Elkind, CBS News, "Pelosi calls Biden's address to Congress "a triumph" for women and families," 29 Apr. 2021 Cleveland is no stranger to rainy weather, and there are plenty of indoor activities to add to some fun to your weekend. John Pana, cleveland, "Rain in Cleveland for the NFL Draft? Here are 21 indoor activities for visitors," 29 Apr. 2021 Alpine skier Lindsey Vonn is no stranger to showing off her body, toned from years of winter sports competitions, including the Olympics. Taylyn Washington-harmon,, "Lindsey Vonn Poses in Strapless Bikini Photo, Says She's Feeling Happy and 'My Authentic Self'," 28 Apr. 2021 Since signing Rogan to a licensing deal reportedly worth more than $100 million, Spotify is no stranger to controversy spurred by the star's remarks. Kerry Flynn, CNN, "Joe Rogan wades into the anti-vaccination narrative on his Spotify podcast," 27 Apr. 2021 Regina King is no stranger to stunning on the red carpet, but her look at this year's Academy Awards was one for the books. Aimee Simeon,, "Regina King’s Razor-Sharp Bob Kicked The Oscars Off In Style," 26 Apr. 2021 To be sure, Harris is no stranger to New Hampshire's retail, shoe-leather politics. Christian Wade, Washington Examiner, "Harris touts White House jobs plan during visit to New Hampshire," 26 Apr. 2021 Murphy, who previously centered a season of American Crime Story on Gianni Versace's death, is no stranger to dramatizing events from the fashion world for our TV screens. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Halston Is Your Next Fashionable Netflix Binge—Here's What to Know," 23 Apr. 2021 Cardi is no stranger to the product and endorsement game. Elizabeth Logan, Glamour, "Cardi B Is Reportedly Launching a Beauty Line," 23 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Little in human affairs is stranger than our tendency to draw fine distinctions of style and status where none are needed. Tyler Cowen, Star Tribune, "Vaccine tribalism is one more way to divide us," 29 Apr. 2021 Probably not, but as the last 24 hours has shown, stranger things have happened in soccer. Robert Kidd, Forbes, "With Jose Mourinho Fired By Tottenham Hotspur, Here Are The Candidates To Replace Him," 19 Apr. 2021 The train car worlds are stranger than ever: Zero-gravity mega-kitchen ruled by giant pig baby, spacemen waiting outside a bumping space club, Wild West town full of giant bug-cowboys, etc. Darren Franich,, "Infinity Train is your next great discovery: Review," 16 Apr. 2021 Daniel Murray: Truth really is stranger than fiction. CBS News, "Link between dark web murder-for-hire plot and gamer may be bad grammar," 10 Apr. 2021 The difference between those two setups is a perfect microcosm of the difference between Made for Love the novel and its TV adaptation: Nutting’s book is simply stranger, riskier, and less afraid to be in bad taste or to alienate its reader. Philippa Snow, The New Republic, "Made for Love Puts a Marriage Under the Microscope," 8 Apr. 2021 The units for the 2022 distribution are even stranger because the Ivy League opted out of its season and got a waiver from the Equal Conference Fund so there is one extra unit (661 total) that factors into the 2022 unit value. Los Angeles Times, "How NCAA units turn the Pac-12’s March Madness wins into big paydays," 3 Apr. 2021 Somehow, things only get stranger from there, as Hazel tries to figure out how to extract Byron from her brain while regaining any sort of agency over her own life and eating breakfast opposite Diane. Rachel Handler, Vulture, "Made For Love’s Creators Talk Translating a Uniquely Weird Book Into Equally Weird TV," 1 Apr. 2021 Scientists, though, are looking for life signs in even stranger places, from clouds on Venus and methane lakes on Titan, to the alien atmospheres of worlds circling distant stars. Robert Lee Hotz, WSJ, "Search for Alien Life Moves Well Beyond Mars," 29 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stranger.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of stranger


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined above


1606, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for stranger


Middle English, from Anglo-French estrangier stranger, foreigner, from estrange

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Time Traveler for stranger

Time Traveler

The first known use of stranger was in the 14th century

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Statistics for stranger

Last Updated

1 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Stranger.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for stranger



English Language Learners Definition of stranger

: someone who you have not met before or do not know
: someone who has not experienced something
: someone who is in a new and unfamiliar place


strang·​er | \ ˈstrān-jər How to pronounce stranger (audio) \

Kids Definition of stranger

1 : a person in a new or unfamiliar place She is a stranger here and does not know her way around.
2 : a person whom another person does not know or has not met Children should not talk to strangers.



Legal Definition of stranger

: someone who is not a party or in privity with a party (as to a contract or legal action) may be enforced against a stranger to the contract

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Comments on stranger

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